iFlashback! May 21st, 2003

It’s time for an iFlashback! A weekly feature in which we take a look at some comics that were on sale nine years ago. Why nine years and not ten? Well because our Mondays in 2012 sync up with the Wednesdays of 2003. and not ten? Well because our Mondays in 2012 sync up with the Wednesdays of 2003.

So jog down memory lane with me. The date is May 21st, 2003. The number one film in the box office is The Matrix: Reloaded and these are some of the comics at your local comic book shop.

The Crew #1

By Christopher Priest, Joe Bennett, Danny Miki


Arkham Asylum: Living Hell #1

By Dan Slott, Ryan Sook


Robin #114

By Jon Lewis, Pete Woods, Andrew Pepoy


Powers #31

By Brian Michael Bendis, Michael Avon Oeming


New Mutants #1

By Nunzio DeFilippis, Christina Weir, Keron Grant, Rob Stull


Green Arrow #26

By Judd Winnick, Phil Hester, Ande Parks


Daredevil #47

By Brian Michael Bendis, Alex Maleev



Marville #7

By Bill Jemas, Mark Bright, Greg Horn


Wolverine #1

By Greg Rucka, Darrick Robertson

That was the week that was May 21st, 2003. Rucka and Robertson’s Wolverine was the highest selling book that month. Did you read it? Did you read any other these other comics? Let us know what you thought of them!


  1. That Winnick Green Arrow run was excellent, especially those first 20 or so issues.

  2. “Marville” I shutter at the thought of that book. I do remember picking up the first issue. What a mess. But i remember picking up Wolverine, Daredevil, Green Arrow, Powers and Arkham Asylum. Man, Green Arrow use to be such a fantastic book, with a solid run from Kevin Smith, Brad Meltzer and then Judd Winick. I miss that book….

  3. MARVILLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Possibly the most eye-catching covers on the shelves with more than likely the worst writing inside

  4. So Daredevil hasn’t had a price bump in 9 years huh? I hope no one at Marvel notices.

    I didn’t get any of these in singles but Daredevil and Arkham Asylum: Living Hell were both good. AA:LH was a blast and just thinking about it makes me wish we could get Dan Slott over at DC for some Joker related content.

  5. Arkham Asylum is the boo k that stands out to me here. It was a real sleeper. This was the first time i read Slott and a full story drawn by Sook is a very rare thing. Some new very good Batman villains were created in this series.

  6. Picked up the Crew #1, but never read it. Remember Powers, Daredevil, and Wolverine like it was yesterday. That was a good week!

    I stopped Marville after the first issue. I’ve erased everything I remember about that issue and series.

  7. That particular issue of Marville was the last one and was not actually a comic. It was basically the submission guidelines for the Jemas version of epic comics, which was going to be targeted at newcomers who would pitch stories and assemble the creative teams and submit finished print ready digital files. It was a strange experiment, but even stranger ALL of the content, the guidelines, everything in that issue was available for free on Marvel’s website along with digital file templates, the submission forms, contracts and even the standard Marvel house font for lettering.

  8. That Powers arc pretty much killed any interest I had in the title. It was so… stupid.

    • Yeah, “Fuck the monkeyman” should be up there with “Jump the shark” and “Nuke the fridge”. This was when I realized that Bendis was pretty much phoning everything in.

  9. Arkham Living Hell is excellent. Weird how I thought I remembered it coming out way before 2003 though… strange how the brain works sometimes.

  10. These are really starting to bum me out on the Marvel side of things.

    Yes, “Marville” (among a few other things) may have been a bad call but I think Marvel was at a creative peak week we hadn’t seen since the 60s with him in charge. Or at least books were allowed to breath and creators were brought in on their comics merit not their superhero comics merit and a willingness to play ball with whatever “event” or “between-event-branding”. Titles had their own identity and the freedom to cultivate their own voice back in those days.

    Look at that “New Mutants” cover even has the “Tsunami” logo on it. At least people got “Runaways” and a BKV penned “Mystique” out of that line, what has Buckley’s Marvel ever tried do that lasted besides the Marvel Illustrated and other than Skottie Young’s (who got his start on Tsunami’s “Human Torch”) “Oz” books…

    I didn’t read the Rucka “Wolverine” run until I recently saw it in a quarter bin. What the hell was I thinking back then!?!? This was easily my favorite run of “Wolverine” both in art, writing, and Logan as a loner… Great stuff!!

    • I agree about that NuMarvel phase from 2000-03. They took a LOT of creative chances, and like anything, a lot of it was shit(Marville and Trouble are some of the worst comic books Marvel has ever put out, I think). But it was always interesting. Morrison/Milligan/Casey ran the X-Books, JMS was brought into Spider-Man and starting adding mythic elements, War Machine got a MAX book, and hey, here’s the Ultimate Universe! It was a crazy, anything-goes kind of creative period for the company, that I don’t think either of the Big Two were able to match since.

  11. The good stuff on Daredevil & a bit of ape sex in Powers doing its best 2001 impression!

  12. That Rucka run on Wolverine got me back into comics… the Mark Millar stuff that followed knocked Wolverine off my pull list…

  13. MONKEY FUCKING ISSUE! Ah I miss those comics glory days.

  14. Wow! Canadians really used to get the shaft for prices!

  15. I had trouble with the Wolverine re-launch. I know it is a nit-pick, but even though the art and story were good, I had a lot of trouble with the obvious attempt to de-age Wolverine and the cover trend made me cringe a little bit as it felt like 1992 again where all the covers are the hero “striking a pose” vice incarnation of a scene from the issue.

  16. I can’t believe it’s been nine years since the monkey lovin’. Powers always has a surprise up its sleeve.

  17. I wished I collected the entire Robin series… Chuck Dixon had an incredible run! Kind of hard to believe Tim Drake is limited only to the Teen Titans book, and occasional guest appearances in the other Bat Books.

  18. I really liked that Arkham Asylum series. it was my first exposure to Dan Slott. I used to kind of think of him as the poor man’s Peter David, but he’s really come into his own and is a great writer. That Arkham Asylum series was a ton of fun.

  19. What is Marville? Seriously I don’t get it….

    Also, Arkham Asylum: Living Hell is a wonderful book. Batman comes in late but for the most part it’s a inmates only comic. So think of it like Gotham City Central but with 20% more Batman. Great comic.

    Other key moments that occurred during this day in history:

    1881: The American Red Cross is founded.
    1927: Charles Lindbergh lands in France, completing the first non-solo trip across the Atlantic.
    2003: Bob Hope turns 100 years old, quipping: “I’m so old, they’ve canceled my blood type.”
    2005: The tallest roller coaster in the world, Kingda Ka (456ft), opens in Six Flags New Jersey.

  20. Ah, the monkey-rape issue of Powers…

  21. Greg Rucka’s run on Wolverine is one of my favorites ever.